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California Apartment Law FAQ

Looking to purchase or manage an apartment complex in California? If so, it is likely that you have considerable questions that should be taken into consideration. At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, we recognize the confusion that can center around apartment law, as well as legal issues concerning real estate, and we are here to help answer the pressing questions that you may have. Below, we have included some general questions and answers that may be useful in helping you to understanding what exactly you are facing:

Are landlords legally able to run credit checks on tenants?
Absolutely! Most landlords and their agents will run a credit check on potential tenants through a credit reporting agency. This will be used to make a final decision on you before making any final decisions. They might also use tenant screening services to gain information on your previous rental history. This might include information things such as whether you paid on time, whether you had caused serious damage to previous units and whether you were previously evicted.

What is unlawful discrimination?
It is illegal for a landlord to refuse payment to a potential tenant based on characteristics such as race, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation and religion. In the state of California, it is a civil right to "seek, obtain and hold housing" and there not something that you can be discriminated against. If a tenant feels they have been victimized, there is legal recourse they may take – including taking legal action to gain access to the housing they feel has been denied to them, as well as seeking damages for emotional pain and suffering and potentially attorney's fees. They may even seek to have civil penalties imposed upon the other party.

Can an oral rental agreement stand up under the law?
Yes, an oral rental agreement is technically legally binding. There are, however, serious complications. For example, should a dispute arise regarding any of the issues agreed upon in the oral agreement (such as amount of rent and length of the rent period), there would be no proof of the agreement. For this reason, it is highly encouraged that the agreement be finalized in writing.

What is renter's insurance? Is it important?
Renter's insurance is exactly what it sounds like: A form of insurance that provides protection against the unthinkable. Should a tenant get renter's insurance they will have their property protected should it be damaged (for example, a fire). It can also protect the tenant against any lawsuits that may be brought by the landlord for causing damage or injury to another. It is therefore extremely important and recommended for all apartment renters in California.

If you have further questions, it is in your best interests to contact Manly, Stewart & Finaldi. We are well-versed in real estate law and can help you ensure that your business venture proceeds smoothly and that you are protected. Call today!

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Manly, Stewart & Finaldi attorneys are licensed to practice law in California, New York, Arizona, Texas and Alaska.Attorney Web Design
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